Saturday, December 29, 2007

Gem City Film Festival

January 18th & 19th, 2008

Larimer Arts Center
216 Reid St
Palatka FL 32177

The Gem City Film Festival is a festival dedicated to presenting the best of independent, grass roots film making from Florida and around the world. It is submission driven and juried.

BANNED IN BOSTON to headline closing event.
Local author and Palatka Daily News writer Lillian Brown will host a screening of the short documentary film based on her popular memoir Banned in Boston at the closing event of the 2008 Gem City Film Festival.

Online sale of tickets will begin January 1, 2008.


Friday Night Frights $10.00
"The Creature Walks Among Us" & films from the independent horror vault (films submitted in the horror category for this year's festival.)

Saturday Indie Films $10.00
The best of the submissions to the festival plus an opportunity to vote for the Audience Choice Award. Includes the film makers roundtable.

Food of Films Closing Party $10.00
Find out if your favorite film has a food creation by one of our local eating establishments. Hear Lillian Brown tell why she was "Banned in Boston" and find out who has won this year's festival awards, including Best of the Festival.

VIP Package $25.00
Includes all of the above at a reduced price.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

In Theatres December 21, 2007
Dreamworks/Warner Bros

Tim Burton is at it again, bringing back two of his prime actors Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow) and Helena Bonham Carter (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) on screen for another ghoulish tale.
With four Golden Globe nominations, one for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture and Best Director; movie goers anxiously await Tim Burton’s newest masterpiece, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street."
The thrilling trailers of the film lead you to believe that this is a horror movie with just a bit of musical accompaniment. That folks is hardly the case; this is a full blown musical.
While the opening credits of the movie gives you a bone chilling view of sliding down the barber shaft and being ground into one of Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies; the music softens the blow and at times annoyingly interrupts the terror of the story. Although, I wasn’t prepared for this brand of storyline, I’d have to say some parts of the musical are quite funny, regardless of its cheesy counterparts. Sweeney Todd adoringly singing to his razors as if they were his long lost lover, the constant pleading of attention from Mrs. Lovett as Sweeney Todd blankly ignores her with ennui; these are just a couple of examples you are to expect a jolt of laughter from the audience. However, every once in awhile a chill runs down your spine as Depp gets that creepy look on his face, the score swells in crescendo and razors are extended from his arms. The one burning question though is can Johnny Depp really sing? Yes, he can - extremely well. Just like the infamous roles Mr. Depp continues to play, his voice is dark, sexy and inviting. It is hard to believe that Johnny Depp has never sang before in his life; except as a backup vocalist he played for in a band more than twenty years ago. Though Depp had no professional training for the film, except with the help from girlfriend Vanessa Paradis, his voice is quite flawless and at times reminded me of David Bowie or Peter Murphy from Bauhaus. Johnny Depp again proves to audiences that he is a theatrical mastermind; leaving you to believe he actually is a British pirate, a drug addicted journalist or a singing demon barber. Helena Bonham Carter also shares with Depp her own singing debut and her twisted comedic nature brings light to the gory synopsis. Although Bonham Carter never sang before co-starring in "Sweeney Todd", she has had professional training for the film. While her voice is quite lovely, I found it hard to understand her between the strong British accent and her quick spoken melodies.
Watching the movie, you can’t help but think that the characters have been resurrected from Burton’s prior films. Mrs. Lovett looks like she could be "Beatlejuice’s" strung out mistress, Joanna (Sweeney Todd’s daughter) bares a striking resemblance to Christina Ricci’s character in "Sleepy Hollow" and of course, Sweeney Todd seems nothing more than an older, angrier version of "Edward Scissorhands"; scary white face, crazy black hair and sharp blades for hands.
The storyline of this gruesome legend is quite romanticized from its original version. In the movie, Sweeney Todd is wrongfully imprisoned and loses his wife and child to the judge who incarcerated him. After fifteen years of imprisonment, Sweeney Todd is released and ready to avenge the men who took his life away. After news of his wife’s death a darker side of Todd overshadows any decency he has left – turning his barber chair into death trap. Sweeney Todd slices the throats of all who sit in the barber chair, flipping it upside down so that the bodies are disposed down a chute into the basement.
His only friend is Mrs. Lovett, a baker in the restaurant just below his barber shop.
Though Mrs. Lovett is greatly in love with Sweeney Todd, she is barely that of a shadow to him; that is until she comes up with the great idea to grind the remains of his victims and bake them into her meat pies. Despite the gore of the crimes, the songs and a well written script make you feel sorry for Sweeney Todd and at times can leave you amused by him.
The real life legacy of Sweeney Todd isn’t so easy to swallow. Sweeney Todd was not a loving father and husband wrongfully imprisoned, but just a fourteen year old boy arrested for stealing. Back in those days young boys were hung for such crimes, but Todd got off easy. Being an apprentice to a barber in prison, Todd learned the skills of a butcher and the anatomy of the human body since the barber had to often play the role of a butcher or even a doctor in jail.
The real Sweeney Todd did want revenge against the superiors who threw him in jail, however there was no love story of a lost wife or child; only the story of a young boy who snapped. The barber chute was real, Mrs. Lovett was real (she was Todd’s former landlady) and even the meat pie conspiracy was real; but this was no romantic tale. Sweeney Todd killed over 160 people in his barber shop before being executed for his heinous crimes.

Although not the horror movie of the year, I still say Sweeney Todd is worth the money if you can stand musicals and stomach cannibalism; for those who can’t, wait till it comes out on DVD. There is, however an interesting twist in the end and though the movie’s not quite what I anticipated, I still give this film an A- for effort. The visuals are great, Johnny Depp’s voice is surprisingly good, and well, the legend speaks for itself.

- Mia Carlin

Tuesday, December 18, 2007



Los Angeles, CA (Tuesday, December 18, 2007) Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson; Harry Sloan, Chairman and CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM); Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne, Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs of New Line Cinema have jointly announced today that they have entered into the following series of agreements:

* MGM and New Line will co-finance and co-distribute two films, “The Hobbit” and a sequel to “The Hobbit.” New Line will distribute in North America and MGM will distribute internationally.

* Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will serve as Executive Producers of two films based on “The Hobbit.” New Line will manage the production of the films, which will be shot simultaneously.

* Peter Jackson and New Line have settled all litigation relating to the “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) Trilogy.

Said Peter Jackson, “I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to put our differences behind us, so that we may begin a new chapter with our old friends at New Line. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is a legacy we proudly share with Bob and Michael, and together, we share that legacy with millions of loyal fans all over the world. We are delighted to continue our journey through Middle Earth. I also want to thank Harry Sloan and our new friends at MGM for helping us find the common ground necessary to continue that journey.”

“Peter Jackson has proven himself as the filmmaker who can bring the extraordinary imagination of Tolkien to life and we full heartedly agree with the fans worldwide who know he should be making ‘The Hobbit,’” said Sloan, MGM’s Chairman and CEO. "Now that we are all in agreement on 'The Hobbit,' we can focus on assembling the production team that will capture this phenomenal tale on film."

Bob Shaye, New Line Co-Chairman and Co-CEO comments, “We are very pleased we have been able to resolve our differences, and that Peter and Fran will be actively and creatively involved with ‘The Hobbit’ movies. We know they will bring the same passion, care and talent to these films that they so ably accomplished with ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy.”

“Peter is a visionary filmmaker, and he broke new ground with ‘The Lord of the Rings,’” notes Michael Lynne, New Line Co-Chairman and Co-CEO. “We’re delighted he’s back for ‘The Hobbit’ films and that the Tolkien saga will continue with his imprint. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Harry Sloan, who has been instrumental in helping us reach our new accord.”

The two “Hobbit” films – “The Hobbit” and its sequel – are scheduled to be shot simultaneously, with pre-production beginning as soon as possible. Principal photography is tentatively set for a 2009 start, with the intention of “The Hobbit” release slated for 2010 and its sequel the following year, in 2011.

The Oscar-winning, critically-acclaimed LOTR Trilogy grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide at the box-office. In 2003, “Return of the King” swept the Academy Awards, winning all of the eleven categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture – the first ever Best Picture win for a fantasy film. The Trilogy’s production was also unprecedented at the time.

For more information about “The Hobbit” films, please visit

Thursday, December 6, 2007


New Line Cinema

New Line release what will surly be the blockbuster The Golden Compass this Friday. As with their previous epic Lord of the Rings, The Golden Compass was also an extraordinary movie going experience even including the voice of Ian Mckellen (Gandalf). The first installment of this sure to be massive epic set the stage for year of movie going enjoyment to come. Part one is a non stop visual other worldly roller coaster taking you on the journey of an orphaned girl who is quickly coming to realize what everyone else in the film seems to already know, she is the key to everything. Two warring sides, one trying to hold control they wield over the information in their dimensions particular reality and the other trying to prove the connection to an infinite number of dimensions beyond. The cavalcade of characters are each a treat in their own right. with each more fun and entertaining than the last. It made me wish my soul was an animal spirit that would walk along with me as it is in their world. Though there are some violent moments, it is a film that is great from pretty much all ages.

Opens Friday, December 7th, 2007

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


One Week Only
Starting Dec 7th
friday- sunday 7:15,9:30
monday-thursday 7:15

Prolific music-video helmer and award-winning photographer Anton Corbijn makes his feature directorial debut with this biographical drama concerning the late Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis. Based on the book Touching from a Distance: Ian Curtis & Joy Division by the enigmatic singer's wife Deborah Curtis, Control documents the life of a legend who changed the face of modern music but never lived to witness the remarkable impact of his life's work. The time was the late 1970s, and the post-punk explosion was just gaining momentum in England. At the forefront of this movement was a band named Joy Division. Formed in 1976 and first calling themselves Warsaw, Joy Division favored mood and expression over the aggressive stance that had come to define punk rock. The band was championed by Factory Records founder Tony Wilson, and collaborated with producer Martin Hannett on the album that would become their undisputed masterpiece -- 1979's {^Unknown Pleasures}. But despite the band's rising popularity, lead singer Curtis was not in good mental or physical health due a debilitating battle with epilepsy and an extramarital affair, and hanged himself in his Macclesfield home on the eve of the band's first U.S. tour. Newcomer Sam Riley stars opposite Samantha Morton in the film that sets out to tell the definitive story of a true rock & roll legend.

1996 San Marco Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL

Monday, December 3, 2007


Terry Jones (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian) invites HOME AUDIENCES on an entertaining expedition through Roman history from the alternative perspective of the Barbarians

This January, KOCH Vision and British comedian, screenwriter, film director and popular historian Terry Jones bring an entertaining expedition through Roman history to DVD for the first time. TERRY JONES’ BARBARIANS, originally presented as a four-part TV documentary series which aired on BBC Two in 2006, explores Roman history through the alternate perspective of the Barbarians. A rare blend of scholarly research combined with Jones’ familiar iconoclastic brand of humor make this a must have for history enthusiasts as well as Monty Python fans!

TERRY JONES’ BARBARIANS takes a completely fresh approach to Roman history; not only does it offer viewers the chance to see the Romans from a non-Roman perspective, it also reveals that most of the people written off by the Romans as uncivilized, savage and barbaric were in fact organized, motivated and intelligent groups of people, with no intentions of overthrowing Rome and plundering its Empire. Throughout the series’ four parts – The Primitive Celts, The Savage Goths, The Brainy Barbarians, and The End of the World - Jones argues that we have been sold a false history of Rome that has twisted our entire understanding of history.

BARBARIANS is the story of Roman history as seen by the Britons, Gauls, Germans, Greeks, Persians and Africans. Jones travels around the geography of the Roman Empire and through 700 years of history - bringing wit, irreverence, passion and the very latest scholarship to transform the popular view of the Roman Empire legacy and the creation of the modern world.

Format: DVD 2-Pack
Run time: 205 mins.
Price: $29.98
Prebook/Street: December 11/January 8



At the Kingdom Hospital in Copenhagen, everything is as it was - and nothing is. From acclaimed director Lars von Trier, THE KINGDOM: SERIES 2 delves even deeper into the realm of the supernatural then in the first acclaimed chiller. Starting with the birth of “Little Brother,” the son of a diabolical murdered, and continuing with Doctor Helmer’s plan to turn the staff into zombies, the forces of evil are once again alive and well at the infamous hospital.

KINGDOM: SERIES 2 is presented in Danish with English subtitles, and DVD extras includes the “Lars von Trier’s Kingdom” documentary, selected audio commentary, bonus music video and more.

Run Time : 291 mins. + extras
Price: $26.98
Prebook/Street : December 11/January 15



Both acclaimed and condemned during his lifetime, Austrian painter Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) pioneered the depiction of sexuality in art through his paintings, murals and sketches. At the height of his fame, he received the Golden Order of Merit from the Austrian Emperor and had wealthy patrons knocking on his door. But personal tragedies and the artistic and political turmoil over the explicit sexuality of his work led to a darker side, and he died at age 55.

From Chilean director Raul Ruiz, who has made his share of provocative film art and who trained as a painter, comes the captivating film, KLIMT, featuring an outstanding performance by John Malkovich. Ruiz, who has made films with some of world cinema’s greatest stars, including Marcello Mastroianni, Cat herine Deneuve and Isabelle Huppert, has assembled a superb ensemble cast which also includes Veronica Ferres (“Les Miserables,” “Rossini”) as Emilie Floge, the artist’s companion in the latter part of his life and Saffron Burrows (“Frida,” “Love Reign Over Me,” “Boston Legal”) as his sexually vibrant muse, Lea De Castro.

The acclaimed biographical drama, named Best Film at the Moscow International Film Festival., is presented in 16x9 (1.78:1 aspect ratio) and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. It is in English, German and French, with English subtitles. Extra features include a making-of documentary and the original theatrical trailer.

Run Time : 97 mins. + extras
Price: $26.98
Prebook/Street : December 11/January 8

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Funny Games

Warner Independent Pictures

A provocative and brutal thriller from director Michael Haneke, a vacationing family gets an unexpected visit from two deeply disturbed young men. Their idyllic holiday turns nightmarish as they are subjected to unimaginable terrors and struggle to stay alive.

In Theatres: February 15th, 2008

Rating: R

Michael Haneke (dir.)
Naomi Watts
Tim Roth
Michael Pitt
Brady Corbet
Devon Gearhart